" Charlie Rohlfing is a stalwart of the RiverRoots Festival committee, a campfire guitar strummer, and a partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening. Find him out and about or at charlie@madisoncourier.com "
“It’s crazy the amount of talent we have for a town of 13,000. You can’t find a better scene.” 
— Davy Harmon
“It’s crazy the amount of talent we have for a town of 13,000. You can’t find a better scene.” — Davy Harmon
When you mention the name Davy Harmon, you’re likely to be rewarded with a smile and reference to the much-loved Ramones tribute band Shock Treatment. (Gabba Gabba Hey!) Their perennial Halloween show at Joey G’s, and later Red Bicycle Hall, is legendary, and sorely missed. When I asked about the chance for a revival some day, Davy smiled wryly and assured me, the band is NOT getting back together.

But that’s just one slim chapter in Davy’s musical journey. He says he grew up in a family of incessant song writing, and graduated from Madison High School with arguably one of the most musically talented classes ever, including Daryl Hewitt, Mark Bear, Derin Lowry, Johnny Canfield Jr., David Dwyer and Brook Reindollar.

Davy has been playing and writing songs for about 20 years, but it’s been the last 10 years that he’s actually been collaborating with other musicians and performing for audiences. “Everyone has been so supportive,” Davy said. He’s never recorded an album, but he says he has plenty of material. “Enough for three albums,” he said.

These days you can catch Davy at various venues around town. I was pleasantly surprised to find him with Jimmy Davis playing at the Lighthouse on a recent warm Friday, entertaining the crowd with enthusiasm and fun song choices. He also has a standing Sunday show at Off Broadway Taproom, alternating weeks with Daryl Hewitt. He’s backed by Brian McKay quite often, and Davy assures me that Brian “knows his stuff” when it comes to guitar.

When I asked Davy about the level of musical talent in Madison his answer was succinct and compelling.

“The Last Waltz Show,” he said.

He was referring to a Red Bicycle production that re-enacted the music from the famous final performance of The Band in 1976. Madison-area musicians not only faithfully recreated each member of the original band, but local musicians also inhabited the many guest stars who joined that show. In all, 23 area musicians were involved, including Davy as Ronnie Hawkins, and unforgettable performances by Amy Noel as Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Davis as Van Morrison. “It’s crazy the amount of talent we have for a town of 13,000,” Davy said. “You can’t find a better scene.”

Davy cited Off Broadway Taproom as the current nexus for live music in town, but he also said the American Legion bears watching. “They do some good music there. Watch for Jason and Gibson Wells, a father-son blues duo out of Lafayette. If they come to the Legion, do not miss them!”

Hot Tip of the Week

The Community Hymn Sing at Trinity Methodist this Friday evening is in honor of long-time organist and music teacher Dr. Stephen Reen, who passed away in September. This is sure to be a poignant and powerful event.